Reach for the Stars is a "spaceploitation" game. The player has the opportunity to name his civilization and those of his (up to three) AI opponents before he begins his attempt at galactic domination. The 2D galaxy map is marked only by planets and their names in few different colors. Also, there is no diplomacy and no player control over tactical combat.
What remains is a hard-core game of grand strategic and economic production. The player must tweak his planets, build ships, research new tech levels, and deploy fleets. All of the underlying dynamics can be altered and customized by the player.